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A Funding Fight, Deferred



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, May 30, 2013 at 9:29 AM

The price of federal austerity: The economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace during the last quarter—better than the quarter before it, but not enough to reverse the years-long, post-recession morass we've been stuck in. Government spending—mostly the lack of it—deserves a big part of the blame.

A new bump in unemployment applications also has some people fretful—even if there's no reason to be. Not yet at least.

Barack Obama has decided that James Comey, a Republican prosecutor and Bush-era deputy attorney general, would be a good bipartisan choice to lead the FBI. Comey threatened to resign after Bush cronies tried getting his boss, John Ashcroft, to approve a more draconian form of warrantless wiretapping. But he also approved the version of the program we still have.

The FBI, meanwhile, has struggled to keep to a consistent message over the fatal shooting of a reportedly unarmed associate of dead Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

A strain of genetically modified wheat, despite not being approved for farming in Oregon or anywhere else in the country, has been found growing in Oregon. That's a problem, because Oregon sends 90 percent of its wheat crop to foreign countries, and those countries are pretty strict about only eating non-mutant crops.

China wants to spend billions acquiring an American pork producer, Smithfield Foods—the largest such enterprise in the world. The Chinese company offering the money is partly owned by Goldman Sachs.

An apparent typo on the sign of Oregon's teaching standards agency prompted a prank bomb threat (except no one's laughing) from a man who showed up carrying a pressure cooker with wires peeking out.

The dry ice explosion in Disneyland's "Toontown" sector was the work of a (creepily titled) "cast member" selling drinks at a nearby cart.

Syria's official president, Bashar al-Assad says he's received a shipment of anti-aircraft missiles from Russia. With love (and also an implied warning to Israel to back the F off.)

A 17-year-old girl in outer Southeast is expected to live after being shot through her apartment wall by a neighbor who told cops he was cleaning his gun.

Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea almost didn't happen. VICE wanted to take Michael Jordan instead. Also, Kim Jong Un is maybe "socially awkward." And the whole visit was weird and choreographed.

A newspaper in Chicago, the Sun-Times, has reportedly fired its entire photography staff. Because anyone can make pretty pictures with a smartphone.

HEY, KIDS! SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE DEAD MEL BLANC! (h/t to Carl Wolfson!)

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